The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. This dam is part of Summerland’s water system. (Summerland Review file photo)

The dam at Thirsk Lake, west of Summerland, was expanded in 2007. This dam is part of Summerland’s water system. (Summerland Review file photo)

Summerland adopts future-focussed Water Master Plan

Document includes 12 high-priority projects for the community

The municipality of Summerland has adopted a revitalized water master plan for the community that aims to address future demands and issues.

“As a key resource document for the district of Summerland, staff will use this plan to guide water allocation, current water management initiatives and water projects that will support community resilience and preparedness for the immediate future and in the longer term,” said Mayor Toni Boot.

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Staff worked to update the plan and the community’s Water Advisory Committee has provided advice and input.

Capital projects in the plan include 12 high-priority projects, including 10 which are already underway or planned in council’s five-year capital program.

Summerland’s three main water sources are groundwater, Trout Creek and Eneas Creek. The municipality also holds licenses for Okanagan Lake.

There are 12 reservoirs that fill each year, but require ongoing maintenance, planning and upgrades to keep pace with changing dam safety regulations.

“Municipal water planning is an integral part of managing our water resource,” said Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. “Summerland’s inclusion of source water protection in their master plan is the right direction for this present resource.”

Over the past 12 years, Summerland’s water usage has decreased from 12,250 megalitres a year to 8,930 megalitres a year.

During this time, Summerland’s population has increased, but crop changes and efficient irrigation technologies and water conservation efforts have been adopted.

Summerland has 200 kilometres of water mains, three concrete reservoirs, nine pressure reducing stations, three pump stations and 6,123 service connection stations. The 12 reservoirs have a capacity of 17,211 megalitres of water storage.

The Trout Creek and Eneas Creek watersheds cover 850 square kilometres in area.

The water master plan can be found online at summerland.ca/docs/default-source/default-document-library/2021-water-master-plan9d44a15cf68d6e33909cff00007e7f94.pdf?sfvrsn=91c9cffb_0.

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